A relatively common question from those who are new to funding is, how simple is it to apply for a grant? This is a really difficult question to answer, because it comes down to who is applying for the grant. Some individuals may find it more difficult than others. Many individuals have the professional skills and experience that can be adapted for the grant application process.
Below, we’ve listed several challenges that are involved in the grant seeking process. Once you prepare for these challenges, plan your best approach for applying for a grant.
1. Searching for a Grant
Searching through hundreds of grant listings can be a tedious and time-consuming process. This step can be especially difficult if you lack time management skills, have difficulty concentrating, or trouble with reading comprehension. GrantWatch assists with this step of the process by providing a one-stop directory for almost 8,000 grants. Instead of researching thousands of funders, GrantWatch provides you with access to tens of thousands of funders, with the ability to narrow down your search by location, category, and keyword.
To ensure you are grant-ready, you must also have all the necessary documents before you start investing your time into searching for grants.
2. Thinking Outside the Box
If you’re looking for funding to replace the copy machine, it’s unlikely you’ll find an opportunity that reads “grant for copy machine.” Nope. Not at all. However, that does not mean that there isn’t any funding available. Instead, you will need to think outside the box and search for broader terms that could encompass your needs.
Try searching for operating support or equipment, technology, or capital expenses. This will give you more options in the long run.
3. The Funding Source
Another challenge of applying for grants can be learning about the funding source. Grants are awarded by different funding sources, with the two most common-known types being: foundations grants and government grants. Think of foundations like the Coca-Cola Foundation.
On the other hand, government grants are from the government — whether it’s local, state, or federal government. Government grants can be very confusing and difficult to apply for and often have lots of requirements. Foundation grants are typically easier to apply for; however, they typically fund smaller amounts.
4. Following Instructions
You won’t be able to submit a compliant grant proposal if you are unable to follow instructions. When it comes to applying for any grant, the funding source will provide a guideline about what to write, include, and submit. If you skip any part of the requested criteria, your grant proposal will not make it on the short list to be funded.
5. Knowledge about Writing
You don’t need to be an expert about grant writing, however, you should be confident in your writing skills. If you think you’re pretty mediocre at writing, then reach out to a colleague or friend that can proofread it on your behalf. Alternatively, you could hire a professional grant writer to give it a good polish and add some quality touches.
In conclusion, if you possess the passion and drive, we highly recommend you apply for your first grant on your own. If you struggle to win any funding after submitting three different grant applications, then we would suggest reaching out and paying an experienced grant writer for assistance.
Everyone has their own opinions on which section of the grant process is more difficult. Some, find searching for grants to be more challenging, while others find writing the grant proposal to be more arduous. However, at the end of the day, it’s about setting aside the time, focusing, following instructions, and being able to write in a clear and understandable manner.